Featured Blog Posts – February 2009 Archive (61)

Menu-labeling passes Indiana House - make sure your voice is heard

The Indiana House Bill on menu-labeling passed with a vote of 51-46 this week. The bill will be assigned to a Senate committee before likely moving on to the Senate for a final vote.



HB 1207 would require chain restaurants with more than 20 units in Indiana to place calorie and carbohydrate data on menus or menu boards by July. These restaurants would also be required to make available to customers data on… Continue

Added by Dani on February 28, 2009 at 7:26am — 3 Comments

Quiznos......Seems Like One Fiasco After Another

If you've ever owned a franchise (any business!), or even thought about one, this is required reading material.

There are so many lessons to be learned here, I don't even know where to start.



I've been hearing and reading about various legal problems and general unhappiness with Quiznos Franchise Owners vs Corporate over the years but never really paid a lot of attention to it.



I remember a lawsuit about the Corp. Office not only taking their 4% Gross for Marketing… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on February 28, 2009 at 2:37am — 3 Comments

From My Window

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=101106



If you missed it, yesterday MarketingDaily(.com) ran a piece by Karlene Lukovitz, on the sudden rush of free meal promotions linked with Social Media. Following Denny's Super Bowl deal earlier this month, IHOP and Quiznos have followed suit with their own version of the free Grand Slam, with iHop raising money and corporate citizenship with a big buck donation to charitable causes. Both of the ladder… Continue

Added by Michael Albert on February 27, 2009 at 3:36pm — 3 Comments

Event Sales Managers a Little Rusty on The Cold Callling

Speaking with my customers I am seeing that more and more private event sales managers are going “old school” and doing more outbound calling to drive catering business. Outward bound marketing with e-mail, direct mail and calling is a good strategy but event sales managers need to be careful when placing cold calls.



Potential customers are wearing more hats these days and are asked to do the work of many, therefore their time, and patience is very short. It is critical that before… Continue

Added by Jonathan Morse on February 27, 2009 at 8:31am — No Comments

Pay what you want?!

I'll bet that title conjures up a lot of interesting thoughts.
What is this all about you ask?
Well, making the news this morning here in Canada, was a story out of Montreal Quebec about a restauranteur providing a very unique, and different, approach to the present economic doom and gloom.
Please check out this provided link and see what it's all about.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090225/montreal_restaurant_AM_090225/20090225?hub=CanadaAM

Added by Patrick O on February 26, 2009 at 8:21am — No Comments

Protein Deflation

The chart of the week is weekly beef, pork and chicken cutout changes versus the 5 year averages. As one can tell from the chart, the major protein markets have been trending well below their 5 year averages for most of 2009. February has been a particularly difficult month for protein prices. As of February 25th, key restaurant protein items 90% beef trimming (10%), choice beef strip (18%), boneless skinless chicken breast (11.5%), and pork belly (8.3%) market prices were well below the same… Continue

Added by David Maloni on February 26, 2009 at 4:00am — No Comments

Why Twitter matters to foodservice

Gary Vaynerchuk is a well known social media guru who walks his talk. He has expanded his family's wine store in NJ through his blogs, video, Twitter, etc. This video shows why we need to be tuned in to Twitter - our customers sure are!

Added by KT on February 25, 2009 at 4:06pm — 10 Comments

From My Window

Working on creating a tagline for a seafood company. A special seafood company, one that will provide a sustainable, healthy, delicious supply of a wonderful marine white fish, cobia (aka lemonfish) using open ocean aquaculture methods, unlike traditional fish farms. Using the new era technology is enviromentally respectful to the oceans and their stakeholders. Like everyone on earth.



Back to taglines. I have noticed some from really big firms that really stink:



Connect… Continue

Added by Michael Albert on February 25, 2009 at 2:50pm — 5 Comments

Real Private Event Sales Manager Shares His Secrets

It occurred to me recently that in all industries there are networking groups, meetings, and social gatherings where like minded professionals get together to discuss the topic of the day but for restaurant event managers there seems to be something missing.(except for FOHBOH of course)



Locked away in the tiny office somewhere behind the kitchen next to the exit it is easy to feel on your own. Adding to the isolation is that most event sales managers are a competitive lot and are… Continue

Added by Jonathan Morse on February 24, 2009 at 5:22pm — No Comments

Gifts from the Recession

I know we’re in a recession when I went to the ATM this morning and it said “insufficient funds” and I wonder if it’s them or me.



Last year this time I had just purchased a nice pair of Prada’s, I was planning a sexy trip to Cozumel and enjoying the benefits of non-commercial air travel. This year I’ve considered selling the Prada’s to make my car payment, hiring a virtual assistant from another company for cheaper labor and hitting on airline employee’s as a lame attempt to have… Continue

Added by Amanda Hite on February 24, 2009 at 7:01am — 5 Comments

Dog Friendly Restaurants, Wineries & Hospitality Businesses, Part II: The Survey Results

Everyone has their opinion. And of course I have mine as well. You can see two of my 'kids' here -- Emily & Roux. Like most dogs, they think they should accompany me everywhere I go. Emily is a pretty good girl, and in most cases really knows how to mind her manners. Roux is all boy (and a rough and tumble one at that), so we are still working on his public social skills! Reading all the responses has reinvigorated my desire to brush up their… Continue

Added by Margie Tosch on February 23, 2009 at 2:02pm — No Comments

15 Common Owner Exit Roadblocks

The essence of Transition Growth Planning includes overcoming your exit roadblocks. Some of these are from internal forces. Some are from external forces. Fifteen common roadblocks are:



• Hanging On Too Long. You simply want to keep owning and/or working for personal, non-economic reasons. You aren’t ready to retire or you aren’t ready to move on to a new venture. You may have accomplished all of your economic goals and all of your other roadblocks to a successful exit have all been… Continue

Added by Andrew Horowitz on February 23, 2009 at 12:32pm — No Comments


Non-Operator
Mind your business... less whining please!

Challenging times require... less whining! Recently a national organization of C.P.A.’s advised clients to save money by spending less on dining out. As if the suggestion from the accountants wasn’t enough, Suze Orman and other personal finance gurus are giving their clients the same advice. I don’t particularly like this advice, but I do know from personal experience that it’s sound. Much of the restaurant industry response, so far anyway, is to point out how vital we are to the economy, how… Continue

Added by James Kohn on February 23, 2009 at 9:04am — 2 Comments


Non-Operator
It's all about customer experience

A Harvard Business Review interviewee made a point I found memorable, he said, many businesses know little about their customers, their likes and dislikes, but rather base decisions on what they think customers think. This author said we should talk with our most frequent customers in an effort to learn strengths and perhaps an opportunity or two. His principle view, our most frequent customers should be the ones that influence management decision-making.



Like many of you I’ve made… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on February 23, 2009 at 7:13am — 4 Comments

The Owner vs. The Entrepreneur

If you are starting or already running a business and you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of Michael Gerber's E-Myth books, I would highly recommend that you grab one. E-Myth stands for the "Entrepreneurial Myth." In his books, Michael dispels many myths about being an entrepreneur and talks about working on your business vs. working in your business.



It's fairly common to see a… Continue

Added by Jeff Schacher on February 22, 2009 at 6:51pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Ca' del Solo Muscat & Dong steamed whole fish

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on February 22, 2009 at 6:34pm — No Comments

Catersource Tradeshow and Conference this Tues-Thurs in Vegas

https://www.catersource.com/index.asp



I'm curious if any FohBoh members will be attending this event in the next couple of days.



I realize that business travel is way down and many people are reducing expenses like these, but thought I'd ask anyway. The Boston Seafood Show (next month) is reporting some big players will not be boothing there this year. Contessa Shrimp being the most notable.



If any FohBoh members will be in Vegas for this, I'll be around the… Continue

Added by Steve Paterson on February 22, 2009 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Chicken Producer Margins and Demand

The chart of the week is chicken-feed cost ratio and the boneless skinless chicken breast market. The chart below is busy, but it tells the tale how as boneless skinless chicken breast prices trend, so does chicken producer profitability. And as the chart depicts, both are historically depressed. The producers have made unprecedented cutbacks as of late. During the last 3 weeks, chicken production is estimated to have been 6% plus below year ago levels. This follows various weeks during the end… Continue

Added by David Maloni on February 20, 2009 at 7:26am — No Comments

Yep, Yelp Still Sucks!



YELP SUCKS...STILL. Please read the article in its entirety below or click on this link to see the story. I am amazed that Yelp can still attract readership. I filtered them a long time ago.



Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Local business owners say Yelp offers to hide negative customer reviews of… Continue

Added by Michael L. Atkinson on February 19, 2009 at 2:41pm — 30 Comments

Restaurant chains and the new corner restaurant

An excellent article by Alice Julier, Professor of Sociology, makes me think of how to apply this knowledge to restaurant chains.



"Food seems like a pretty basic and obvious necessity -- everyone needs it. The problem is that in our previous incarnation as a Land of Abundance, we produced enough food to feed our… Continue

Added by John Dumbrille on February 19, 2009 at 2:39pm — 2 Comments

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Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

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National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

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